Simone Biles ‘Shocked’ to Receive Bronze Medal in Olympic Return: It ‘Means More Than All of the Golds’


Entering the Tokyo Olympics, the thought of Simone Biles winning just one bronze medal would have been a disappointment. But after overcoming media scrutiny and mental health concerns on her way to the bronze, Biles recognizes how important that medal is.

Biles returned to Olympic competition one week after withdrawing from team finals at the Summer Games. The four-time gold medalist made her return Tuesday on the balance beam, the last day of events for artistic gymnastics.

Biles earned a 14.000 and the bronze medal on the beam, placing behind Chenchen Guan (14.633) and Xijing Tang (14.233), both from China.

“I’m very shocked,” Biles said, as she joined her teammates in speaking to NBC’s Hoda Kotb on Today.

“[This bronze] means more than all of the golds because I have pushed through so much the last five years and the last week while I’ve even been here,” Biles added. “It was very emotional, and I’m just proud of myself and just all of these girls as well.”

Biles also addressed what she believed was the biggest false narrative being pushed after she withdrew from team events last week.

“That I was at no risk and mental health isn’t a serious issue, that it was basically a cop out,” Biles said. “The girls saw me in training, my coaches saw me in training. I physically couldn’t do it safely because I was getting so lost in the air.”

Biles said she returned for the beam because she didn’t have to twist. “I was at less risk,” she added. “Twisties” are a feeling many gymnasts have experienced, causing them to become disoriented in the air, potentially leading to dangerous landings. After winning bronze in Tokyo, Biles now has seven total Olympic medals, tying Shanon Miller for the most by an American gymnast.

Watch above via NBC

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